2023 Kia EV6 GT AWD

The spotlight in the 2023 EV6 lineup is claimed by the high-performance GT model, earning the title of Kia’s most powerful production vehicle with 576 horsepower and a 0-60 mph acceleration in just 3.4 seconds, showcasing supercar-like performance in an unexpected Kia offering.

In sync with the Ioniq 5 regarding EV technology, the 2023 EV6 distinguishes itself among small electric crossover SUVs. Despite diverse design elements, the EV6 stands out as an attractive choice for those craving an energetic driving experience, especially when compared to alternatives like the Bolt EUV, Mustang Mach-E, and Model Y, each offering its unique mix of pros and cons.

DESIGN

Kia’s design team has crafted the EV6’s overall design, erasing any doubts about its style by incorporating captivating details both inside and out. The flowing rear end, streamlined light bar, and confident shoulder line not only boost the car’s broad appeal but also distinguish the EV6 with detailed elements like square patterns and the integrated charge door, particularly noticeable in the unique GT variant.

The performance-focused EV6 GT catches attention with its 21-inch wheels and eye-catching neon green brake calipers, marking a clear departure from the standard model. However, for those who prefer a different hue, there is no factory option available to switch colors.

Regarding color choices, the 2023 Kia EV6 GT presents a limited selection that includes options like Runway Red, as seen on our test car, and the no-cost alternative, Yacht Blue. Extra-cost colors like Snow White Pearl, Aurora Black Pearl, and Steel Matte Gray incur additional charges ranging from $495 to $695.

Upon stepping into the EV6, one can immediately notice its striking features that highlight its essence: a two-spoke steering wheel, dual 12.3-inch infotainment screens, and a noticeable power button and gear selector. Specifically available in the GT model, an eye-catching green button triggers the GT mode, offering a chance to personalize powertrain and handling configurations.

The EV6’s center stack is designed with a user-friendly layout, incorporating a row of knobs and touch-sensitive controls for effortless adjustment of climate settings and media controls. Positioned adjacent to primary climate controls, a discreet section provides easy access to additional climate settings and media controls, even if the selector may not catch your attention at first.

The 2023 Kia EV6 GT closely mirrors its standard counterpart, featuring distinctive elements like the GT button, faux-carbon fiber dashboard trim, special badging, and sportier bucket seats with lively green accents. While prioritizing comfort, the absence of power-adjustable seats or lumbar support aligns with the vehicle’s emphasis on delivering a high-performance driving experience.

Up front, occupants enjoy convenient access to USB-A and USB-C ports, complemented by the ability to pair two Bluetooth devices with the infotainment system. The floating center console houses essential controls such as the power button, gear selector, and buttons for heated seats and steering wheel, with additional storage space below.

In the rear of the 2023 Kia EV6 GT, there are no standout features, but second-row passengers benefit from USB-C ports. A distinctive addition beneath the rear bench includes full-blown 120V, 16-amp outlets, a unique feature not commonly found in most electric vehicles. These outlets are active when the car is running, and the key can be used to prevent battery drain by securing access.

PERFORMANCE

The EV6 GT sets itself apart with its strong performance, delivering a rapid acceleration experience that will quickly make you forget you’re in a Kia. It clocks an impressive 0 to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 161 mph.

Despite its prowess, the GT encounters challenges on winding roads, primarily due to the limitations of its all-season tires, resulting in reduced grip and compromised handling, especially noticeable in corners where a front-heavy feel is prevalent.

Nevertheless, a unique driving dynamic emerges when engaging the accelerator pedal, prompting the rear end to kick out and induce oversteer. Yet, maintaining control at high speeds requires skillful coordination of hands and feet.

To further enhance the driving experience, attention should be given to the braking system, as its current performance struggles to keep up with spirited driving, requiring improved initial bite for greater confidence when bringing the GT to a controlled stop.

RANGE

The GT, armed with the familiar 77.4-kWh battery found in the standard EV6, flexes considerable supercar-like power but falls short on range, with a disappointing 206 miles of EV range. Compared to the Tesla Model Y Performance (97 miles more) and the Mustang Mach-E GT (64 miles more), its impressive dual-motor setup reveals a major compromise for the added power.

Even with Tesla’s larger 81-kWh unit, barely crossing the 200-mile mark highlights a significant flaw in an otherwise impressive crossover. Kia steps in with a solution, employing the 800-volt ‘e-GMP’ architecture, facilitating rapid DC fast charging at 240 kW.

By tapping into high-power charging stations, Kia assures an 18-minute charge from 10% to 80% battery, lessening the impact of limited range on daily activities. Though regular trips to charging spots are unavoidable, an 11-kW Level 2 AC charger takes just over 7 hours for a complete recharge.

VERDICT

The 2023 Kia EV6 GT AWD test car boasts an MSRP of $61,400. The sole option, the carpeted GT floor mats priced at $170, along with transportation and other fees, brings the total to $62,865.

Competition

The EV6 GT, priced at $62,865, presents a more economical option compared to its main competitors, the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E GT. Nevertheless, it comes with a compromise, providing an anticipated range of only 206 miles, in sharp contrast to the Ford’s 270 miles and the Tesla’s 303 miles.

Even with its lower cost and faster acceleration, the EV6 GT incurs a range drawback, despite its superior peak charge rate of 240 kilowatts, surpassing Ford’s 150. It’s up to the consumer to decide which of these trade-offs they prefer more: performance or range. The choice is all based on your own preference and priorities in an EV.

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